Tetiana Matiushenko and her family used to live in the town of Kalmiuske (formerly Komsomolsk). Now this territory is under the control of the so-called "Donetsk people’s republic". We met with her in Slovyansk, where she moved to protect herself and her son.
She has been waiting for her husband, Valeriy Matiushenko, for three years. He was taken to the town center in the summer of 2017, and in the winter of the following year he was "convicted" for alleged espionage and cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine. According to her, everyone in their town knew of their pro-Ukrainian stance.
Before the latest exchange, which as previously announced by the President's Office took place before Orthodox Easter (on April 16), the “DPR” had released a preliminary list of people whom they were planning to hand over — once again her husband wasn’t included. However, Tetiana is not planning to give up and believes that he will eventually be be included. She says, "why is the ‘DPR’ always getting whoever they want, while we're not fighting for our citizens who have been held there for years?"
The fact that her husband is genuinely in the 32nd colony in Makiivka is confirmed by ex-prisoners, and on the eve of the exchange in December 2019, Valeriy was filmed on one of the Russian TV channels. Tetiana personally attended her husband’s "court hearings" in Donetsk, she has the documents from the SBU, and from the "Ministry of State Security of the DPR", which prove that her husband is being held by the Russia-backed militants.
Hromadske spoke to Tetiana about what she has had to endure in these three years and how she is struggling to bring her husband back home.